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san sebastian 2009

El Cuarto de Leo at San Sebastian 2009

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When you take any sort of writing class, one of the first things you learn is narrative structure: not just beginning, middle, end, but the specific way that stories need to be formed in order to seem as though they're moving forward. The more you study it, the more it haunts you, until half the time you're watching movies, you start pointing out specific points in time that serve a purpose to move the story forward. While I understand narrative structure and why it's important, I fin...

Film Festival by the Sea

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  The sun is back in San Sebastian, which means that, for those inclined, a trip to the beach between films is more than possible: the Kursaal is right on the Zurriola beach in Gros, and there are surfers and swimmers out every day (even days that aren't sunny and bright!) ...

Hadewijch

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Blind faith is a very strange sort of thing. On the one hand, blind faith can help a person to achieve things that never would have otherwise been possible. On the other hand, blind faith can bring a person to do things that they never would have done. Hadewijch is a French film in the official selection at the San Sebastian Film Festival, and it is a film that explores this very idea. It follows the life of Céline, a French girl so enamored with God and her religion that she i...

Making Plans for Léna at San Sebastian 2009

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“That movie was absolutely French.” The man next to me couldn't have been more right: at the end of Making Plans for Léna, I could feel the collective “what the...” that tends to pass through people's heads at the end of a particularly “French” movie. But what makes a movie seem French? It's not the language or even the location: there are hundreds of movies that were set in France, made in France, in French with French actors and French directors that don't c...

Kursal by Night in San Sebastian

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In San Sebastian, the Kursal, the buzzing center of the festival, lights up the entrance to Gros and the beach. - Emily Monaco ...

Yo También

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When writing reviews for film festival movies, there are a few adjectives I've learned I will probably drop from my vocabulary: heart-warming, light, sweet... They're good adjectives for other movies, to be sure, (if a bit overused at times), but they have no place here. Nope. No way. So when I saw Yo, También, I wasn't exactly sure how I planned to describe it, for that is what it is: heart-warming, light and sweet. It made me (and the rest of the audience) burst out laughing at...

Cloudy on the Red Carpet

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  The rain from this weekend has let up, but the weather here in San Sebastian is still cloudy. Fingers crossed that the sunny day they promised us for Thursday will arrive! Until then, everyone here is walking the red carpet with an umbrella in one hand, just in case. At least the carpet isn't covered in plastic anymore, like it was this weekend. ...

This is Love - a film review from San Sebastian

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Some films just make me feel stupid. I generally am not a fan of this. 20 minutes into This is Love, I still had no real idea what was going on, or even who the main character was supposed to be. I spent a lot of time trying to figure it out… was the director going to pull a “Bruce Willis was dead the whole time!” on me? How did these two characters connect? What in God’s name was going on? Let me backtrack a moment: This is Love is a German film that begins by intro...

Daniel y Ana

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Both Michel Franco and lead actor Darío Yazbek are here in San Sebastian to promote Daniel y Ana, the young Mexican director´s first full-length feature. The film tells the (true) story of two siblings in an upper class Mexican family that are captured by pornographers and forced to have sex with one another on tape. The director seeks to tell the story of what happens to the relationship between the two after this ordeal and how it comes to shape the way that each one deals wit...

San Sebastian : Today's Films (Saturday 19)

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 Today is Saturday, September 18th... the second day of the San Sebastian-Donostia Film Festival. Here's what's being screened today...   Official Selection Chloe Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried star in a Canadian film that follows a woman who hires a girl to tempt her husband to see if he is cheating. El Baile de la Victoria In Chile, a young man looking to take revenge on a famous bank heister crosses paths with a mysterious ballerina. ...

Welcome to San Sebastian... Don't Forget Your Umbrella!

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Oh, how I love film festivals. Or, more precisely, how I love when they invade the town that I call home. My first festival was Toronto: I worked as a volunteer behind the scenes, showing people to their seats. Toronto could never compare to Cannes, the first festival I saw as a journalist, the first time I worked with fest21. Cannes was all glamor and sparkle: we waited for weeks as we learnd which films would be premiering there, who would be coming. We watched as the red carpet wa...
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